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The Cost of Pet Pwnership

Many people e-mail or call me to ask how much a puppy will cost, but they neglect to ask or consider how much that cute puppy is going to cost them LATER.    That cute puppy is going to require veterinary care, professional grooming, training, a crate, toys, food, a collar and leash, grooming supplies for at-home upkeep and there may be pet deposits and license fees to consider as well.   Due to the necessity of purchasing so much in the way of equipment and supplies for a new puppy (or even an older puppy or adult), the first year of ownership can be quite expensive.    

To give you some idea of the costs associated with caring for a new Cocker Spaniel puppy, the table below shows you the estimated AVERAGE costs that you may encounter for the first year of dog ownership.  Keep in mind that if your puppy or dog becomes ill or injured (eats something he shouldn't, catches kennel cough from the neighbor's dog or maybe he gets a leg broken when stepped on by one of your children's friends) your costs could be much higher than those I have shown.

Training Supplies Food Medical Toys License Misc. Spay/Neuter Collar/Leash Carrier Bed Grooming Total
$125 $150 $150 $350 $60 $15 $60 $100 $30 $60 $40 $300 $1,440

The above expenses are an average for basic expenses for a dog from 8 weeks of age to one year.  This includes amounts for the last 2 rounds of puppy shots, rabies vaccination, flea, tick and heartworm preventative, one year veterinary check-up exam and booster vaccines, puppy kindergarten and a basic obedience course, supplies (see New Puppy Supply List), treats, regular professional grooming and the other specified items. 

While there may be some room for economy in the above totals, there is nothing listed that you can do completely without.  Nor is it acceptable to decide that you'll feed your poor puppy Ol' Roy so that you can save on expenses!  I would also be quite disappointed if you were to fail to have your puppy groomed regularly or if you didn't provide appropriate veterinary care, so please don't think you can save in one of those areas either.  

While it's true that the amounts I have used for estimating the cost of caring for your new Cocker puppy could be slightly higher or lower than prices in your area, it is also true that my estimate does not include everything you may need for your dog.  I have not included amounts for a dog house, kennel enclosure or other dog-proof fencing, so if your dog will spend any significant amount of time outdoors, you may need to consider these expenses as well.  

Also, if you're thinking that maybe that older puppy or adult dog would save you a significant amount of money, think again!  While you may save a little money in the first two months of ownership if you purchase an older puppy or adult (due to the fact that an older puppy or adult dog would not need 2 more rounds of puppy vaccinations), in the long run, the expenses for the older dog will most likely be quite similar to what you would spend for the young puppy.  This is because with an older puppy/dog, you must factor in higher prices for such things as grooming, food and supplies.  So, the bottom line is, it's highly unlikely that the age of the dog you purchase is going to make a significant difference in the total of first-year ownership expenses.  

PLEASE don't think I'm trying to discourage anyone from dog ownership with this article.  Personally, I think every home should have at least one Cocker Spaniel!!  The point of providing the above information is to give prospective new owners a realistic understanding of the financial commitment that goes with the purchase of a new dog. 

Hopefully anyone considering the purchase of a new dog will have already considered all of the expenses I enumerated above and this article was not a shocking revelation.  However, I'm sure there are a few people out there that have never owned a dog or who were unaware of the grooming, training and medical needs of a young dog.   I'm sure those people are still trying to catch their breath!   The good news here is that for those of you that have read this article and still choose to offer a home to a new puppy or dog, you will do so with a full understanding of the financial commitment involved in that decision.


If you have any questions or would like more information about our Cocker Spaniels,
E-MAIL ME.    Thanks,


Copyright Sandcastle Kennels 2004

Last revised: January 06, 2006